Thursday, 6 December 2012

Lemon and Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

I've been experimenting with lemony cakes and after several tests, I feel I must share with you the recipe for this lemon and vanilla buttermilk cake, because it is utterly delicious.  I love the combination of lemon and vanilla.  They are among my favourite flavours of all time.  I always add vanilla seeds when making lemon curds.  They simply compliment each other.  

This is a very easy cake to make.  And of course, if you don't have buttermilk, natural plain yoghurt will do the job just fine.  Or you can always make buttermilk substitution by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup (250 ml) of milk.  Just give it a stir and let it stand for ten minutes or so until it thickens.  Easy, right?

In essence, this cake is actually a lemon drizzle cake.  Not only you get the lemon flavour in the cake from the zest, but also as the cake is out from the oven, it is then drenched with a lemon syrup... making this cake  incredibly moist. 

I must apologise that if you are going to comment on this post, I have put the annoying word verification back on again as today.  I received so many random anonymous comments and they're just beyond ridiculous now.  Just this morning, I got over seventy spam comments.  If anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to stop this, please let me know.  Thank you in advance. 

Lemon and Vanilla Buttermilk Cake 

3 eggs, free-range or organic
200 gr caster sugar
150 gr buttermilk
250 gr cake flour (or use 175 gr plain flour + 75 gr corn flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or the seeds of a vanilla pod)
150 ml vegetable oil
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the lemon syrup
the juice of 2 lemons
50 gr caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C.  I use a 23 cm bundt tin for aesthetic purpose, but there's no need to.  You can use a regular 23 cm round tin.  Grease and flour or line the tin of your choice.

In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.  With a spatula, slowly fold in the vegetable oil until all is incorporated to the batter.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when poked to the centre of the cake.

Make the syrup by cooking the lemon juice and sugar in a small pan.  Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and until it thickens.

When the cake is out from the oven, using a wooden skewer, make lots of little holes all around the cake.  Drizzle the syrup all over the cake.  It's best to do this when the cake is still warm as the cake will absorb the syrup better.  Let the cake cool in the tin.  When ready to serve, take it out from the tin, to the serving platter, and dust with icing sugar.


  1. This looks divine - lemon drizzle cake is the grown up lady of sponge I always think!
    Sorry you're getting so much spam. Doesn't it automatically go to your spam box? I seem to get loads but blogger picks it up straightaway so it doesn't bother me because I just don't look at that inbox. You can click a widget somewhere to make sure anonymous comments always go to the spam box, I think that helps. x

  2. absolutely stunning Michael!... I love it, it's so beautiful and the addition of buttermilk must make it so light... gorgeous picture too... re spam, I had it bad too for a while... two tips: 1, remove any email addresses you may have anywhere on your site 2, they do eventually stop coming, I promise... for me it was bad for a few months but now I get maybe one or two per month... x

  3. mmm lemon, mmm lemon and vanilla. I want me some of that cake.

    I get loads of those effing comments aswell, your blog is great, click on this link etc... As dom says they do die off eventually.

  4. Sorry about the faux comments. That doesn't happen to me (yet). I recently baked a cake for the first time in my life, tres leches by name. It made me long for that moist sweetness again. Your cake looks and sounds like something I know I could crave.

  5. Lovely lemony cake! Love the addition of lemon syrup that gives an extra tangy sweet taste! YUM! :)

  6. Yes lemon and vanilla is a fine combination and that looks a very fine cake. Must try that tip about vanilla seeds in the lemon curd next time I make some.

  7. What a great cake! I would take lemon over chocolate any day of the week. And I love that it's not loaded with frosting. Sorry about those nasty comments!

  8. this is a classic example of the type of amazing-looking baking recipes that I've been so tempted by this season. yikes. great job michael, as always. this looks so professional!

  9. I always do that lemon juice trick to make buttermilk too-I found that I never had buttermilk when I needed it! Gorgeous cake Michael! :D

  10. Ooohhhh.. I love all things lemon... add some vanilla into the mix? I think you may have a found a piece of heaven!!! YUM!